Périgord walnuts

Périgord walnuts Oil

For centuries, walnuts were not harvested to eat but to make walnut oil instead, which is particularly used in south-western French cooking.

Region

Périgord – Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Producer

Product details

For centuries, walnuts were not harvested to eat but to make walnut oil instead, which is particularly used in south-western French cooking.
The walnut oil trade has flourished throughout the province since the 13th century.
Seven centuries later, walnut trees are everywhere alongside roads, shading hillsides and sprawling across the plains.
Before peanut oil, most kernels were processed in artisan mills. Crushed, placed in bags and cold pressed, they produced an oil which was used to dress salad and add shine to hair. Along with lard and goose and duck fat, it was the only fat source used by Périgord chefs, replaced by rapeseed oil in regions with no walnut trees.
Numerous texts on walnut oil production in the south-west describe production processes which are still being used today, even if extraction techniques have developed over the passing centuries. Two different oil extraction methods are referenced:
– By pressing the kernels once they have been reduced to a paste without being exposed to heat
– By pressing walnut kernels once they have been reduced to a paste and then exposed to heat in a large pan

The quality of the raw materials used is vital to obtain a high-quality oil.
This expertise is what the professional association’s board wished to consecrate by obtaining an AOC/AOP for walnut oil, empirical expertise passed down from generation to generation as a given by millers, since the processes running up to extracting walnut oil are part of their shared culture just as walnut trees are part of the region’s landscape.

Read more

How to serve it

For centuries, walnuts were not harvested to eat but to make walnut oil instead, which is particularly used in south-western French cooking.
The walnut oil trade has flourished throughout the province since the 13th century.
Seven centuries later, walnut trees are everywhere alongside roads, shading hillsides and sprawling across the plains.
Before peanut oil, most kernels were processed in artisan mills. Crushed, placed in bags and cold pressed, they produced an oil which was used to dress salad and add shine to hair. Along with lard and goose and duck fat, it was the only fat source used by Périgord chefs, replaced by rapeseed oil in regions with no walnut trees.
Numerous texts on walnut oil production in the south-west describe production processes which are still being used today, even if extraction techniques have developed over the passing centuries.
Two different oil extraction methods are referenced:

  • By pressing the kernels once they have been reduced to a paste without being exposed to heat
  • By pressing walnut kernels once they have been reduced to a paste and then exposed to heat in a large pan

The quality of the raw materials used is vital to obtain a high-quality oil.
This expertise is what the professional association’s board wished to consecrate by obtaining an AOC/AOP for walnut oil, empirical expertise passed down from generation to generation as a given by millers, since the processes running up to extracting walnut oil are part of their shared culture just as walnut trees are part of the region’s landscape.

Read more
Nut oil is also highly recommended in the diet for its high omega 3 content.

View Producer

La Vie Contée

View Recipe

Sponge cake with Perigord crumble and walnut oil, chicken lollipops

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